October 31st, 2010

Loud & Proud: Show Your Support Monday

by Philip Baruth

Wouldn’t it be great if we’d thought out a way to get everyone out there who supports this campaign an attractive lapel sticker to wear the day prior to the election? Uh, we did. We’ll have a sticky note on every copy of the Burlington Free Press tomorrow, anywhere in the County, and the truth is that if you peel those things off, they’re still sticky.

So here’s the thing: if you peel off the sticker from the first Free Press you encounter tomorrow, whether it’s in the coffee shop or the gas station or in the privacy of your own home, you can slap it on your coat lapel, and it’ll probably be good through half the day tomorrow.

Think of it this way. If we get 10 people to wear these in a town the size of Richmond, that’ll make an impact on the day before the Election, not huge but measurable. If we get 50 people in Burlington, same deal. If you’re the sort of person who shies away from lawn signs or stickers until the deal is actually going down, we’re there.

The deal is going down, and tomorrow is the last full day to convince the undecided.

Seeing us on your lapel goes a long way toward convincing your friends that we’re worth actually taking a flyer on. So if you can wear the sticky, or find a public place to stick it, God love you, as Joe Biden’s Mom liked to say.

October 31st, 2010

The Last Fundraising Update Ever

by Philip Baruth

Update on our final, last-ditch attempt to pay for advertising through Tuesday: from the original $1200 we were short, we’re now down to just $550. Which is brilliant, and we couldn’t be more grateful. If you’ve been meaning to contribute to this campaign, and somehow never have, we can still run more ads between now and Election Day, believe it or not. Your help will help. Thanks very, very much in advance if you can step up, and click here.

October 28th, 2010

Big Mo: We Got The FREE PRESS Nod

by Philip Baruth

Over the last sixteen months, I’ve been arguing that Montpelier needs to change in certain fundamental ways: state government needs to move more rapidly to position us behind emerging technologies, and it needs to be more transparent and open in its dealings. The State Senate’s rule against laptops and smart phones struck me as a double case in point. To my surprise, and great delight, the Burlington Free Press editorial board endorsed this campaign yesterday primarily for that stance. And in a watershed moment for Vermont new media, they listed experience blogging as a promising qualification for public office. Many thanks, Free Press folk. — PB

Democratic National Convention, Denver 2008: Vermont Obama Delegation [Photo: Carolyn Dwyer]

The endorsement in full:

“Philip Baruth, Burlington, Democrat — First-time candidate Baruth says he will challenge standing rules that prohibit the use of smart phones and portable computers when the Senate is in session, a policy that limits the real-time, two-way flow of information between Senate members and constituents. Baruth can call on his experience as a blogger and especially his familiarity with social media to help drive the Senate toward becoming a forum more easily accessible to Vermonters who might be unable to attend sessions in person. Baruth’s experience on the Burlington School Board will also bring to the Senate the experience of someone who has struggled first hand with challenges of public school spending.”

October 27th, 2010

Deb Markowitz Also Nets Out Vote For Us

by Philip Baruth

Yesterday we brought you the case of one Matt Dunne, father and Google executive, who yet managed to find time to Net Out The Vote for this campaign: Matt emailed his lists and pages and networks on our behalf, and we thank him again. Today, a second case in point: Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, who has a good deal to do herself, what with being Secretary of State. Still, Deb too found the time to email her lists the following lovely letter yesterday (many, many thanks, Deb). Which begs the question: why do we use so many colons in our posts? No, really: if Matt Dunne and Deb Markowitz can make time to boost this campaign over the finish line, can’t you? — PB

Dear _____ ,

I am writing today to urge you to support Philip Baruth for Chittenden State Senate. Philip has been working tirelessly on his campaign for well over a year and I know that he would work even harder as a state senator to get things done for Chittenden County and for the state of Vermont.

I have known Philip for many years, but got to know him well in 2008 when he and I served as delegates to the historic convention in Denver. While we were there we helped to build a playground for working class neighborhood in Denver. We both believe that it is important to contribute to our community in a tangible way.

Philip has continued his commitment to service politics during his campaign, with projects in Burlington’s Old North End and in Essex Junction. His volunteers refinished the dance floor of the Teen Center in Essex Junction over a year ago.

Like me, Philip is focused like a laser on job creation. He is a longtime advocate of renewable power, and he wants to aggressively come to the aid of small firms focused in that sector, by strengthening the Clean Energy Development Fund and by streamlining the permitting process.

His commitment to closing down Vermont Yankee — revealed again last week to be leaking radioactive material into its deepwater wells — has been impressive. As a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Public Television, and in his own writing and reporting, Philip has been a courageous advocate on this issue for the last five years.

Finally, Philip supports single-payer health care for the same reason he supports a strong decommissioning bill on Vermont Yankee: he believes that, in addition to being consistent with Vermont values, both are basically conservative positions. Small businesses need to be relieved of the burden of providing costly health-care, and all Vermont taxpayers need to be shielded from the $1.2 billion dollar clean-up waiting once VY is shuttered.

There are many good people running for state senate this year in Chittenden County. I believe Philip will make a strong addition to the delegation. His articulate voice and fresh ideas will be an asset to the state.

Feel free to call me if you want to talk about why I think Philip would make a great state senator.

My best,


October 26th, 2010

The Staggering Cost of Kibble

by Philip Baruth

It’s probably worth noting that when all is said and done, when we total up all the ad spending we absolutely need to run through next Tuesday, we’re $1200 short. If you can help, we could still use it. This team’s run a long race, and it’d be a shame to go dark with 48 hours left to go. You’ve all brought us this far, but many thanks if you can take us to the finish line. And it’s coming up very, very quickly.

October 26th, 2010

Matt Dunne Nets Out The Vote For Us

by Philip Baruth

As most of you know, we’ve been running a final week of Net Out The Vote, a digital push in which everyone who supports this State Senate campaign donates 20 minutes to working their electronic lists on our behalf. And you haven’t done it yet, because you’re busy. We understand. But Matt Dunne is busy too, to put it mildly. Yet Matt managed to send the following letter to his list of supporters yesterday, working it in somewhere among the Google and new father tasks on his to-do list. Just saying. Thanks, Matt. — PB

Matt with his talented wife, Sarah.


Join me in supporting Philip Baruth for State Senate.

With a large number of people leaving the Vermont Senate this year, we have a unique opportunity for new leadership in this critical part of our state government. On November 2nd, you have the opportunity to elect a fresh new voice to this body at an important moment in our state’s history.

I’ve known Philip Baruth for over a decade. In that time he has been a powerful activist in our state, advocating for progressive values and honesty in our political process.

But Philip is not an old-school, traditional activist. He has used his incredible writing skills and ability to listen, combined with the tools of online publishing, to move the conversation forward in a powerful way. Whether it was revelations regarding Vermont Yankee safety or calling out elected officials trying to have an issue both ways, Philip became a powerful force for change as new tools for communication have emerged.

These same skills make Philip the ideal Senator for our time.

He listens carefully, sticks to his core values and communicates thoughtfully in ways that engage all Vermonters. He has a mastery of the issues and has demonstrated through his Service Politics approach that he is willing to work hard to support his community.

makin' patties
The Dunne campaign helped make the very first Hamburger Summit both a smashing success and a yearly media tradition.

Philip will quickly become a leader on bringing broadband to the last mile, developing jobs for the next generation and ensuring we have a strong energy future that does not compromise our safety.

The heated race for Governor has meant other races get less attention, but your participation in a State Senate race can make a much larger difference. I would encourage you to check out Philip’s website, www.baruth2010.com, make a contribution or volunteer in these last few weeks.

With all of the negativity in politics around the country, you have the opportunity to bring a powerful positive voice to our state. Please join me in supporting Philip for State Senate.



October 20th, 2010

Our Campaign For the Vermont State Senate Now Running At Red Defcon Three: Netting Out The Vote, With Just 13 Days Left

by Philip Baruth

Up at 5 this morning, before the dawn, to rendezvous with a group of the hard-core for a honk n’ wave in Richmond at 7:30. Not too cold, but dark, and each volunteer that pulled into the parking lot could have used another hour of sleep. But here’s the thing: with 13 days left in this election, you don’t need to leverage yourself out of bed in order to stand with us physically, in 3D. God love you if you do, but you can do us just as much good right now, from your desktop. We call it Netting Out The Vote, and it works like this.

Every digital citizen of the 21st century has multiple lists to which they belong, and with which they communicate. You’ve got email, at the very least, but probably three or four other sets of friends and e-contacts. Instead of joining us at the roadside in the early morning, or phone-banking with us late in the evening, give us 20 minutes, today.

Twenty minutes where you consciously work your lists on our behalf.

It takes about 5 minutes to write a short email, saying something to the effect of, “Just a quick note to let you know that I’m backing Philip Baruth for State Senate because he’s a house on fire when it comes to renewable energy,” or “Philip’s my candidate because he would sooner die than let Entergy stick Vermonters with the clean-up costs for Vermont Yankee,” or whatever your reason might be.

It takes another five minutes to email it to your address book, and Front Porch Forum.

Another five minutes to cross-post to Facebook, with a photo of you in Nepal, searching for enlightenment.

And a final five minutes to tweet it, or text it, or shout it to folks down the hall.

Twenty minutes where you consciously and deliberately get out the electronic vote, to the extent that you are able, sitting at your desktop sipping your coffee, never breaking a sweat.

And if you want, drop me an email and let me know that you did these things. Not that you have to, by any means. But when people show up in the cold dawn for a honk and wave, part of the reason that they do so is that they want others to know they did their part. Same should be true of this sort of digital honk n’ wave.

I’d like to know it, so I can properly thank you.

But either way, it’s time to ride to the sound of the guns.

If this particular netroots candidacy is going to succeed, it’ll do so because you actually move your fingers after reading this, actually make ones and zeroes flow from computer to computer, in the admittedly strange but sweet new music of democracy.

October 10th, 2010

BREAKING: John Irving Is Coming

by Philip Baruth

Who knows why, but all VDB’s favorite people are dropping into Burlington suddenly. The latest: John Irving will be reading from his novel-in-progress this coming Thursday night the 14th, at 7:30 pm, in the Fleming Museum Auditorium, on the UVM campus. Fair to say that it may be another 15 years before Irving is back this way, so if you loved Garp or Owen Meany or Cider House Rules or Hotel New Hampshire, come on over with a friend and catch this reading. Not shy, John Irving, so it will no doubt produce stories you’ll still be telling friends in 2036. And it’s free.